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May 2, 2022 at 9:41 am · · Comments Off on Bridges, Broadband, & Roads:  MEREDA to Host Spring Conference on What the Infrastructure Bills Means for Maine

Bridges, Broadband, & Roads:  MEREDA to Host Spring Conference on What the Infrastructure Bills Means for Maine

PORTLAND, Maine – On May 24, 2022, the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) will host a dynamic and forward-looking conference on how the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will affect Maine’s economy. Facilitating a multifaceted discussion, MEREDA’s Spring Conference brings together a line-up of exciting speakers and panelists to explore the impact this influx of federal money will have on our state.

“There are so many industries that will be touched by the Infrastructure Bill. The scale of opportunity and the scale of effort that will be required is astonishing,” says MEREDA President Joshua Fifield. “From important policy discussions to a look at where the rubber will actually meet the road, our Spring Conference brings together industry leaders and offers an opportunity for us to do a deep dive into this important topic.”

MEREDA will host keynote speakers Commissioner Heather Johnson from the Department of Economic and Community Development and Dale Doughty, Director of Planning at the Maine Department of Transportation. The conference will also include an economic impact presentation from Dr. Charles Colgan, a Senior Research Advisor at Maine Center for Business and Economic Research and former State Economist of Maine.

Complementing these presentations, the stage will later turn to a moderated discussion with four in-state experts who will share their perspectives. Panelists will include Scott Jason of Cianbro Construction, Michael Stoddard of Efficiency Maine, Greg Payne from the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, and Kerem Durdag of GWI Broadband. The panel will be moderated by Brain Curley, Architect and Director of Design and Construction at MaineHealth.

MEREDA will also unveil its 2022 MEREDA Index, which is underwritten by Eaton Peabody and supported by Katahdin Trust Co., MaineHousing, and XPress Copy; as well as recognize its 2021 Notable Project recipients at the Spring Conference. The conference will be held in accordance with  current CDC safety guidelines at The Holiday Inn By the Bay from 1pm to 5pm on Tuesday, May 24. A virtual attendance option is also available. In-person broker, appraiser, and architect attendees are eligible for Continuing Education Credits. This event is sponsored by NBT Bank, Cianbro, Treadwell Franklin Infrastructure, Efficiency Maine, Mainebiz, Maine Magazine, Premium Parking, Pierce Atwood, Sevee & Maher Engineers, People’s United Bank, Tangram 3DS, Redstone, Perkins Thompson, and AAA Energy Service. For more information, or to register for the conference please visit www.mereda.org.

April 8, 2022 at 3:27 pm · · Comments Off on LD 201 Action Alert – Historic Tax Credit

LD 201 Action Alert – Historic Tax Credit

MEREDA needs your help!

 

Contact your legislators today to tell them why you support the Maine Historic Tax Credit, and why it’s so important to ensure that the bill is removed from the Special Appropriations Table now and finally enacted this year.

You can find talking points on the importance of this program here. Tell your representatives that it’s important for developers to have certainty that this tax credit will be available to ensure that they can safely put projects in the development pipeline.

Find your House Representative or Senator, listed in alphabetical order by town.

March 28, 2022 at 1:10 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA supports the majority report for LD 2003

MEREDA supports the majority report for LD 2003

MEREDA supports the majority report for LD 2003 and urges you to contact your House member or Senator in support of the majority report to help building more housing for Maine!

The majority of the Labor and Housing Committee of the Legislature voted to support LD 2003, An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions.

Click the graphic to the left for more information.

March 20, 2022 at 3:46 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s 2022 Spring Conference is May 24th

MEREDA’s 2022 Spring Conference is May 24th

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) is planning its 2022 Annual Spring Conference on May 24, 2022 at the Holiday Inn By the Bay.

Two formats:  You Choose In-Person OR Virtual

Infrastructure 2022: Bridges, Broadband, & Roads: What the Infrastructure bill means for Maine’s real estate economy
No matter what party you are affiliated with – there has been talk in the last decade by the federal government of the need for a widespread investment in America. The recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act addresses the need to rebuild roads, bridges, water/wastewater , critical housing and support and expand overall connectivity – be it physically related to transportation as well as broadband access. The roughly $1.2 trillion bill contains an estimated $550 billion in new spending above baseline levels. This spending touches every sector of infrastructure, from transportation and water to energy, broadband, and the resilience and rehabilitation of our nation’s natural resources.

Join your colleagues and other professionals at MEREDA’s 2022 Spring Conference, meet and greet clients and learn about the impact these dollars will have on Maine and the region as the federal and state government disperse these funds. We’ll also unveil the 2022 MEREDA Index, as well as recognize our 2021 Notable Project Recipients!

Registration is now open!  

Have you been trying to figure out how to double-down on the visibility opportunity of MEREDA, and increase the profile of your firm? Why not consider sponsoring this event?  Check out the sponsorship opportunities here.

 

March 15, 2022 at 8:00 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Morning Menu – The Rise of Suburban Housing Development

MEREDA’s Morning Menu – The Rise of Suburban Housing Development

With political pandemonium at Maine’s urban and economic capital, developers flee to the suburbs in search of yield.

Josh Soley, President of Maine Realty Advisors, will sit down with Mark McClure of GenX Capital and Nate Green & Chris Marshall of Salt Marsh Capital on April 14, 2022 to discuss why these prominent developers have decided to focus on Sanford, Yarmouth, Cumberland, and other towns outside of our metro-area.

These panelists will discuss the incentives and the drawbacks associated and potentially give us a glimpse into their investment strategy.

This Morning Menu Breakfast Event is Sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

Click Here to Register Now

About the Event:

April 14, 2022
In-Person — Masks Required

Buffet Breakfast: 7:30-8:00 am
Program: 8:00-9:00 am

Holiday Inn By the Bay
88 Spring Street
Portland, ME

Registering for the Event: Click Here to Register Now

PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED!

No Walk-ins will be allowed.

Registration Fees:

Members: $45 each
Non-Members: $55 each
Prices increase $10 after 4/7

MEREDA’s Refund Policy:

Your RSVP is requested by April 7. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after April 7.

** SAFETY PRECAUTIONS **

MASKS ARE REQUIRED: To protect the health and safety of our attendees and presenters, we request that ALL ATTENDEES wear a mask for the duration of the event, unless eating or drinking, and strongly encourage ALL ATTENDEES to be vaccinated.

A buffet breakfast will be available with the hotel staff serving each guest. Upon arrival, please check in, proceed to the buffet while maintaining 6’ between other guests, and go directly to your table. Coffee will be located on each table.

We will continue to follow all State & Federal CDC guidelines and suggested protocols, and will respond accordingly. Updates will be posted on our website

March 3, 2022 at 11:33 am · · Comments Off on Save the Date! MEREDA’s 2022 Spring Conference is May 24th

Save the Date! MEREDA’s 2022 Spring Conference is May 24th

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) is planning its 2022 Annual Spring Conference on May 24, 2022 at the Holiday Inn By the Bay.

Two formats:  You Choose In-Person OR Virtual

Infrastructure 2022: Bridges, Broadband, & Roads: What the Infrastructure bill means for Maine’s real estate economy
No matter what party you are affiliated with – there has been talk in the last decade by the federal government of the need for a widespread investment in America. The recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act addresses the need to rebuild roads, bridges, water/wastewater , critical housing and support and expand overall connectivity – be it physically related to transportation as well as broadband access. The roughly $1.2 trillion bill contains an estimated $550 billion in new spending above baseline levels. This spending touches every sector of infrastructure, from transportation and water to energy, broadband, and the resilience and rehabilitation of our nation’s natural resources.

Join your colleagues and other professionals at MEREDA’s 2022 Spring Conference, meet and greet clients and learn about the impact these dollars will have on Maine and the region as the federal and state government disperse these funds. We’ll also unveil the 2022 MEREDA Index, as well as recognize our 2021 Notable Project Recipients!

Registration is now open!  

Have you been trying to figure out how to double-down on the visibility opportunity of MEREDA, and increase the profile of your firm? Why not consider sponsoring this event?  Check out the sponsorship opportunities here.

 

February 24, 2022 at 11:24 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Strikes for Scholars Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser Sells Out!

MEREDA’s Strikes for Scholars Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser Sells Out!

After what seems like an eternity, MEREDA is returning to Bayside Bowl in Portland for it’s now SOLD OUT Annual Strikes for Scholars Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser!

As per usual, all the proceeds will fund scholarships for students pursuing studies in building trades.  This year, we are pleased to announce that donations will be made to both the ACE Mentor Program of Maine, as well as to the AGC Maine Education Foundation.

As an organization whose mission is to promote an environment for responsible development and ownership of real estate throughout the State, MEREDA wants to help support the next generation of professionals who will ultimately continue its work of advocating for responsible development.

Although we no longer have any lanes available, why not consider sponsoring this event!  

For $1500, sponsors are featured in emails about the event, you can display your company banner at the event, you’ll be mentioned at the event, and we’ll post a number of posts on our social media platforms. The best benefit is that all the net proceeds go directly to deserving Maine students!

Many thanks to AAA Energy Service Co. and Machias Savings Bank for sponsoring this event!  Why not join them and support the students with your own sponsorship? Give us a call at 207-874-0801 or click here!

About ACE Mentor Program of MaineACE Mentor Program of Maine’s mission is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and continued support for their advancement into the industry. The program aims to build a large, diverse, and better-prepared workforce through mentoring and internships and prioritizes engaging students and communities traditionally underrepresented in the industry. Additionally, the program provides scholarships for students as they pursue career pathways into the industry.

About AGC Maine Education FoundationThe AGC Maine Education Foundation is pleased to invest in the future of the construction industry by awarding scholarships to deserving students pursuing education related to the construction, design, and engineering field. Since 1989, the Foundation has awarded scholarships totaling over $525,000 to technical schools, college undergraduate students and graduate students towards their career in the industry

February 10, 2022 at 2:05 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Morning Menu Breakfast Event – Crowdfunding: Modernizing the Capital Stack

MEREDA’s Morning Menu Breakfast Event – Crowdfunding: Modernizing the Capital Stack

This breakfast will provide an opportunity for real estate professionals to get an inside look at some of Maine’s most significant developments underway. Andrew Preston of Presidium Real Estate has been involved with the development at the Brunswick Landing, the acquisition of the Time and Temperature Building in Portland and is now working on renovating the Pepperell Mill in Biddeford.

Join us on March 16 as Josh Soley, President of Maine Realty Advisors sits down with Drew to discuss how he and his team have put together such significant developments, how they have been building their capital stacks, and how Crowdfunding has revolutionized the way in which we analyze large-scale projects.

This Morning Menu Breakfast Event is Sponsored by: Norway Savings Bank

Click Here to Register

About the Event:

March 16, 2022
In-Person — Masks Required

Buffet Breakfast: 7:30-8:00 am
Program: 8:00-9:00 am

Holiday Inn By the Bay
88 Spring Street
Portland, ME

Registering for the Event: Register Here

PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED!

 No Walk-ins will be allowed.

Registration Fees:

Members: $45 each
Non-Members: $55 each

Prices increase $10 after 3/9

MEREDA’s Refund Policy:

Your RSVP is requested by March 9. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after March 9.

** SAFETY PRECAUTIONS **

MASKS ARE REQUIRED: To protect the health and safety of our attendees and presenters, we request that ALL ATTENDEES wear a mask for the duration of the event, unless eating or drinking, and strongly encourage ALL ATTENDEES to be vaccinated.

A buffet breakfast will be available with the hotel staff serving each guest. Upon arrival, please check in, proceed to the buffet while maintaining 6’ between other guests, and go directly to your table. Coffee will be located on each table.

We will continue to follow all State & Federal CDC guidelines and suggested protocols, and will respond accordingly. Updates will be posted on our website.

February 1, 2022 at 6:00 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA Recognizes Four Outstanding Individuals for Their Contributions to Real Estate Development and Policy in Maine

MEREDA Recognizes Four Outstanding Individuals for Their Contributions to Real Estate Development and Policy in Maine

On January 20, 2022, the Maine Real Estate and Development Association (MEREDA) recognized four outstanding individuals for their significant and lasting contributions to real estate development in the State of Maine. The awards were presented in person at this year’s Forecast Conference at the Cross Insurance Arena, which also featured an option to watch the presentations virtually as well.

Click here to watch the awards ceremony.

Paul Peck has been selected for this year’s Robert B. Patterson Jr. Founder’s Award, for his extraordinary commitment and dedication to MEREDA over the years. A problem solver and a leader, Paul has provided many valuable contributions to MEREDA.

An active and enthusiastic member of MEREDA’s Board of Directors since 2010, Paul served as volunteer President from 2016 – 2018, and before that co-chaired MEREDA’s Conference Committee. His contributions were recognized previously in 2012 when he received MEREDA’s President’s Award. He currently serves on MEREDA’s Executive and Public Policy Committees, where MEREDA continues to benefit from Paul’s legal expertise and career experiences

Paul is the founder of LWS Development LLC, a Maine real estate development company that has developed housing, assisted living, and resort communities.  Since 1992, Paul has also practiced law at the firm of Drummond & Drummond, with a concentration on real estate law, business law, and creditors’ rights.

The President’s Award is given by MEREDA’s current volunteer President in recognition of someone who has made significant contributions on MEREDA’s behalf. This year’s President’s Award goes to a remarkable individual, Andrea Cianchette Maker, for her lasting contributions to MEREDA in her role as Public Policy Counsel.

For the past ten years, Andrea has guided the work of MEREDA’s Public Policy and Local Issues Committee, serving as Public Policy Counsel and a key advisor to the Executive Committee and the Board. In that time, Andrea has helped elevate MEREDA’s public profile as the state’s premier trade association for commercial real estate and development. From her work in Augusta to her annual presentations at the Forecast Conference and everything in between, Andrea takes a thoughtful, collaborative, and effective approach to advocacy work and public policy engagement.

A true servant leader, Andrea has helped build up and provide guidance to MEREDA’s advocacy and engagement approach, helping us ensure a more fair, practical, and predictable landscape for commercial development in Maine. Andrea has been steadfastly vigilant for MEREDA members’ interests, and she has helped ensure that MEREDA’s voice is consistently heard during debates in Augusta and at the local level.  In particular, her work assisting the Public Policy Committee to determine its position or level of engagement on specific bills has been invaluable to maximizing MEREDA’s resources and impact.

Andrea announced her retirement from Pierce Atwood in the fall of 2020. Her leadership and dedication to MEREDA will continue to positively affect our organization long after she leaves. We are grateful for her time, thoughtfulness, passion, and commitment to furthering MEREDA’s interests and helping drive economic development in Maine.

The MEREDA Public Policy Award is presented each year to an individual whose efforts have made a significant impact on public policy changes that benefit responsible real estate development and ownership in Maine. This year we recognize the contributions of Representative Ryan Fecteau, Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives.

In his role as Speaker, Representative Fecteau has been a model leader for other legislators, working across the aisle and with his own party to seek compromise, consensus, and practical solutions to the real problems faced by Maine people. Despite being the youngest Speaker of the House in the United States, Representative Fecteau has made considerable strides toward improving the lives of Mainers. Of particular importance to MEREDA has been the Speaker’s steadfast efforts to increase affordable housing and improve the economic development landscape in Maine.

In 2020, the Speaker worked to successfully enact a state low income housing tax credit – a longtime goal of affordable housing advocates. Modeled off the federal low income housing tax credit, the state credit has already been impactful to the development and construction of dozens of affordable housing units. Speaker Fecteau’s efforts on the credit were critical to its passage.  Further demonstrating his understanding of the housing and development landscape, Speaker Fecteau worked this past session to establish a Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions. That Commission’s final report contains several recommendations that we hope will be considered by the Second Regular Session of the 130th Legislature. We applaud Speaker Fecteau for taking a critical look at how to address Maine’s affordable housing shortage.

The Volunteer of the Year Award is awarded to those who generously share their time, talents, and energy with MEREDA. This year we honor the contributions of Craig Young, CCIM.

Craig joined the MEREDA Board in 2015 and serves on MEREDA’s Executive Committee as Vice President, and as co-chair of MEREDA’s Conference Committee.  With his can-do attitude, Craig exemplifies a leadership role that is particularly welcomed in a volunteer organization such as MEREDA, and was especially appreciated while we navigated the pandemic together. From emceeing the January 2021 Forecast and Spring Conferences to moderating several of our Morning Menu breakfast events, we are truly grateful for the expertise and time he has shared with our organization this past year. We couldn’t have done the 2021 events without him!

Craig is a Partner and Senior Broker at The Boulos Company, a commercial real estate firm that blends Maine and New Hampshire market knowledge with a global network and is dedicated to serving owners, investors, and tenants.

MEREDA congratulates these four exceptional members, and thanks every volunteer whose contributions of time and talent make the association’s continued success possible.

January 25, 2022 at 6:00 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Forecast Conference Highlights the Story of Supply & Demand in Maine Real Estate

MEREDA’s Forecast Conference Highlights the Story of Supply & Demand in Maine Real Estate

On Thursday, January 20, over 600 of Maine’s real estate and development professionals gathered both virtually and in-person at the Cross Insurance Arena to learn about the latest trends and predictions in the real estate economy at the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) Forecast Conference and Member Showcase. “There is so much energy in Maine’s real estate sector right now, and it is amazing to be in a room together to discuss the future of our state and our economy,” said Josh Fifield, MEREDA President. “The Forecast Conference helps set the tone for the year ahead, and I’m feeling positive about what opportunities all this energy will create for Maine.”

From James Marple, a Senior Economist at TD Bank who provided an economic outlook; to Speaker Ryan Fecteau, Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, who spoke about the need for affordable housing; to an impressive lineup of industry experts; speakers were brought together for an informative conference at the Cross Insurance Arena following Covid safety protocols. MEREDA also streamed the conference for those who could not attend in-person.

The major theme resonating across sectors and presentations was that of supply and demand. Maine simply does not have enough inventory – of affordable homes, of homes in desirable communities, of industrial spaces – to meet the increased demand. Speaker Fecteau kicked off the conference stating that Maine needs more housing in all corners of the state. Aware that many of the presentations to follow would highlight the booming real estate market in the state, Speaker Fecteau shared, “Too many Maine families don’t have access to what is happening in real estate.” He went on to cite the fact that there isn’t a county in the state where a low-income worker making minimum wage can afford a two-bedroom apartment. Speaker Fecteau has helped enact a state companion to the federal low-income housing tax credit and sponsored a resolve to put in place a commission to study local zoning and land use policies that create barriers to the creation of more affordable housing. Inviting the conference attendees to become more involved in the affordable housing movement, Speaker Fecteau said, “It can’t just be politicians; no one likes us anyway. We need your voices!”

The affordability and supply challenge of the housing market was further underscored in later presentations at the conference. Brit Vitalius of Vitalius Real Estate Group shared his insight on the multi-family market in Southern Maine, which has seen a dramatic rise in prices and has been impacted by “Covid refugees” looking to relocate to Maine. With limitations in the Portland market, other communities are starting to look like Portland 15 years ago, and Vitalius cited the incredible growth in communities like Westbrook, Biddeford, Lewiston, and Brunswick.

Dava Davin of Portside Real Estate Group provided an update on the single family residential market in Southern Maine, a sector that reached $8.7 billion total sales in 2021. “Prices went up 20% in one year,” shared Davin. “That is incredible! I wrote ‘WOAH’ in my notes.” While the red-hot residential market is present across the state, 50% of the record-breaking sales are in Southern Maine and 35% of the buyers are coming from out of state. Davin cited a possible solution to the inventory crunch – new construction – reporting that there had been an 85% increase in land sales since 2019. Zoning will play a crucial part in how these parcels are developed. Looking ahead, Davin sees exciting growth opportunities in the state’s rural areas, saying that right now “People drive until they can afford it.”

Reporting on the Bangor area market, Tanya Emery, Director of Community & Economic Development for the City of Bangor, commented, “If you’re looking for a friendly place to do development, give us a call!” With a downtown office market that is fuller than it has ever been, an industrial market with a 1% vacancy rate, and a critical need for residential properties, Bangor is seeing a number of opportunities for exciting developments to take place, including new construction.

The competitive industrial market in Bangor is paralleled throughout the state, and Justin Lamontagne and Sam LeGeyt of The Dunham Group described a sector “mired in a supply/demand balance.” Lamontagne shared how the market is “incredibly frothy,” saying they are setting records on every sale. With the current amount of demand for industrial space, new construction has to happen and Lamontagne cited the recent success of The Downs and their Innovation District model as a template he predicts will be repeated across the state.

Surprisingly, the retail sector had a solid year, with Peter Harrington of Malone Commercial Brokers providing a report. “If you didn’t buy a new house, you bought stuff for your old house,” Harrington quipped as he drew the connection between the strong residential market and a strong commercial market, saying, “The two go hand-in-hand.” Citing the success in Rock Row, Harrington saw a trend that he predicts will be replicated for new brick-and-mortar retail development across the state, where there is a symbiotic relationship between service retail, entertainment, and housing. “It’s all about getting people to the retail center.” While the lack of labor continues to present a challenge for the retail market, Harrington saw an overall bright future for the Greater Portland and Southern Maine market.

Nate Stevens of The Boulos Company provided a slightly different tone to the Conference with his report on the Southern Maine Office Forecast. With flat demand, and tenants back in the driver’s seat of the market, the market is learning to adapt. Painting a complex portrait of the office market, Stevens cited the significant sublease space currently available as being a large influencer on the market for the next few years. “This is a lot of space for our market to absorb,” shared Stevens. Office building conversions, while not a new trend, is another influence, with some 200,000 square feet of Class B office space recently turning into residential condos in downtown Portland. Stevens sees the potential for this trend to extend into suburban single story office space, which could be easily converted into industrial/flex space to help meet the increased demand in that sector. Reflecting on the larger question about the future of the office, Stevens felt that it would be a few years before we would see how the hybrid workplace trend would impact the office market. Looking ahead, Stevens felt that the future of the office market, while not record-breaking, would be trending in the right direction.

Other presentations included Elizabeth Frazier of Pierce Atwood with an update on MEREDA’s Legislative Agenda. In the year ahead, Frazier said the Legislative Committee will be focusing on issues such as the passage of the Maine Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit and engagement with the recommendations of the Maine Housing Commission. Frank Carr of Maine Realty Advisors gave a report on the Central Maine market and the rising prices he’s seeing in the multi-family markets in Augusta and Waterville. Dave Holman of RE Max Riverside Commercial gave an update on the Midcoast Maine market, also highlighting the dramatic price increase in the multi-family market, reporting a 48% growth rate in one year. Sean Riley of Maine Course Hospitality Group gave us a look at the rollercoaster ride that the Hospitality sector has been on during the pandemic, but ended on a hopeful note, sharing a prediction that the industry expects to be fully recovered by 2023.

From the incredible growth in the residential market to a strong hospitality season to record-breaking industrial sales, it is clear that people and businesses want to be in Maine. This phenomenal demand, while currently creating supply constraints, also seems to be providing the promise of some dazzling opportunities for Mainers. MEREDA members will be working together to turn these opportunities into responsible development that will help drive our state and our economy forward.